Review: SoundMAGIC HP150 (Updated HP100)

I would like to thank Robin at Hifiheadphones for lending me these headphones for review, I will write as honest a review possible, they received over 50hrs of burn-in, no differences were noted.

Gear Used:
Dell XPS 15 > Sybasonic D31 DAC > HP150


Specifications:
Transducers: Dynamic driver, 53mm, Neodynium
Frequency Response : 10 Hz-30KHz
DC Resistance : 95 +3dB
Sensitivity : 95 + 3dB
Cable Length : 1.2M
Connector : 3.5mm I style plug gold-plated
Weight : 288 grams

Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
Packaging is similar to most SoundMAGIC products, very simple yet elegant, it has a picture of the headphones on the front and has information and specifications on the sides and back, along with a frequency graph. Very sleek and effective, the headphones are stored in their case inside the box to prevent damage.





Accessories are great, you get a standard straight cable, an extension cable, 6.3mm adapter, flight adapter and also the amazing hard carry case. Everything to protect and use your headphones in any situation.



Build quality is similar to the HP100, with matte rubberised plastic but this time on the cups too (better than the easily scratched metal of the HP100), a well padded headband with numbered sliders, and soft ear pads, unfortunately the ear pads are a little shallow, but this is easily fixed by using a piece of string or thick cable under the pads. The cable is detachable and I have no worries about the build quality, the headphones feel strong and the cable is well relieved.


Comfort, Isolation and Cable noise:
Well comfort is generally good, they don't have too much clamping force, but enough to keep the steady on your head when walking around. The headband is sufficiently padded to not cause pain from the pressure, but the ear pads are a little shallow leading to the drivers resting on your ears a little, which can cause some discomfort after a while, again this can be remedied by raising the pads slightly using a piece of thick string or cable and placing it under the edges of the pads.



Isolation is ok for a full size headphone, they are not the best as they are vented, but enough to not disturb others around you, or for other outside noises to really annoy you either, they sufficiently block out most sounds for general usage.

Cable noise is not really an issue with these, yes you can hear it a little when it brushes against your clothing, but when out and about just walking you should have no issues, and these were not designed to be taken when you are out for a run so it really isn't an issue.



Sound:
Split into the usual categories, with a conclusion at the end

Lows:
Very much like the HP100, these have very deep and impactful lows with very good control, they are very much in balance with the rest of the sound, they never become too overpowering. The lows dig deep when asked for, and kick drums have a very real and full sound with good punch, bass guitar is very articulate and you never lose track of the beat in any song. I think they have the perfect balanced of presence and control, adding body and a base for the sound without adding bloat or veil. They never bleed into the mids keeping very separate and balanced.

Mids:
The mids lay a tiny bit behind the lows in presentation, but all vocals fair very well with no added body to them, they are portrayed realistically with great detail and control without throwing detail in your face. Electric guitars in rock music can sometimes sound a little tame but on most recordings this is not an issue. The mids are quite transparent and present the mids as they were recorded and handle all genres very well, only a tiny bit of sibilance can be detected on bad recordings.

Highs:
The highs are always there in the mix, sometimes they take a bit of a back seat compared to the mids and highs, but this is not to say they are lacking. What they slightly lack in presence they make up in detail and also control, they have great sparkle and also extend well with only slight roll off detected. Cymbals can be heard with great detail, they crash with authority yet no harshness or brightness, they are not the most crisp sounding, and won't satisfy a treble head, but they also lead to a more relaxed and fatigue free listening session.

Instrument separation is very good, they don't have the most airy sound, but they do have good clarity and separation. Soundstage is nice and wide, with very good channel separation and convincing placement.



Conclusion: Well these are very much a cosmetic and very slight sound improvement on the HP100, I do prefer the updated looks, they look sleeker and more grown up, they also have the same very easy on the ear yet detailed sound the HP100 was loved for. I think these have a tiny bit more bass presence and a little more sparkle up top, but in essence are the same as the HP100. I really think these offer incredible sound for the price, they have a full yet balanced sound, detailed but not harsh or clinical. A very good buy for home/office closed back headphones.



Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (The shallow pads let them down)

Comments

  1. Any ideas where I could get replacement cables for these in the UK... Please
    Chins481@yahoo.co.uk

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